Not For Men



If you are a man, you probably won’t want to read any further because I’m going to talk about vaginitis!

 I’m sure there are tough things about being a man like maybe having to shave every day but I think the whole thing with hormones and periods and bearing children can really be difficult, to say the least.(And I must say that since my hysterectomy that I haven’t missed my uterus even one day.) And vaginitis-well, this is just the pits. I’ve been having trouble with it. I went to a doctor and he prescribed the usual cream and vaginal suppository. And it worked for a while but it just kept reoccuring. One day it appeared on my horizon again-not really there but you know where-and I thought I would just drop into a pharmacy and get the medication I needed without going to the doctor and all of that hassle. Most meds are more expensive without a prescription here but what I needed are very inexpensive without one so I stopped at a nearby pharmacy that I’ve never been to before. I was even with my trusty interpreter but, being a guy, he is pretty clueless when it comes to things like feminine hygiene products or what is needed for yeast infections.


 This is where I discovered that yeast is not a word that the French understand. I told the pharmacist that I wanted a vaginal suppository for a yeast infection. He had no idea what I was talking about. Maurice certainly wasn’t able to explain well. I finally learned that the word for yeast is champignon which is also the word for mushroom. This struck me as funny seeing a little herd of mushrooms merrily growing deep in the depths of me.


 Anyway, this is also when I learned that they don’t call a vaginal suppository a suppository here. I’d never noticed what it said on the package I had before to tell the truth. Maurice and the pharmacist had quite a time figuring out what I wanted because I kept insisting it was a suppository. Here a suppository only goes one place, you know where. But I’m thinking, “Come on Mr. Pharmacist. Work with me here. I don’t care what it’s called, you can figure out what I need.” I needed an ovule. Whatever. I don’t care what it’s called, can I just have one? It seemed like quite a workout to me to get the Pharmacist to finally get what I needed. Do I have to draw a picture? Of course, now that I know I can safely walk into any pharmacy and, without pointing to my private parts, explain what I need-An ovule for champignons. I’ve got it. I hope it will be a long time before I need to use it again, though.

12 thoughts to “Not For Men”

  1. GREAT photos to illuminate your narrative! Where did you find that mosaic?? You’d think the pharmacist would have gotten the gist, wouldn’t you?

  2. Find out if they have Diflucan here. In the States it\’s available by prescription only and there are different dosages, but there is a 150mg SINGLE pill dose (taken by mouth) that is supposed to pack a wallop and knock those yeast infections right out. In fact when I\’m on heavy antibiotics my doctor will prescribe the single-pill Diflucan as a preventative measure. It\’s made by Pfizer. They also make dosages where you might have to take more than one pill, and an oral suspension form which is probably more for children. And it comes in a generic form, too, called fluconazole so if you asked a pharmacist about that, they would probably know it or be able to look it up.

  3. Ha, ha! An ovule for champignons! Good to know…
    But the pharmacist should have figured it out much quicker. I agree with you about the obstinance and inflexibility of certain French. Once, I was shopping at the grand Epicerie (Bon Marche) and needed some bread crumbs. Not knowing the proper name I asked for grated bread for coating pork chops. Well, if you saw the looks I got, and the conference that took place before 5 salespeople figured out what I meant! BTW – it’s chapelure.

  4. O-mi-god! This is too funny! The story, that is, not the infection. It\’s right up there with your story about the doctor appointment without a gown. It reminds me of my friend who went to a small butcher shop in the countryside to buy a chicken. Waving her arms like wings she said, \

  5. she said, “Je suis une poule.” Laughingly, he called everyone in the shop to hear her repeat the request before telling her she had just announced herself to be a hooker!

  6. “Ovule for champignons”… you know, everything just sounds so much more pleasant and SOPHISTICATED in French! Vaginal suppository sounds utterly crude in comparison.

    P.S. I don’t envy you even a little. Vaginitis is the pits.

    Here’s hoping you get well soon!

  7. Hi Linda,
    I too have been plagued in the past with vaginitis and using creams and suppositories did not work for me, as I imagine is true for you too since they are re-curring?
    I started taking acidophilus, which is essentially a capsule containing live “good” bacteria that our insides need to function properly. When you get vaginitis, it’s because your “good” bacteria is off balance and the “bad” bacteria is taking over. Often, pharmaceutical products just acerbate the problem even more.
    Acidophilus is what is found in most yogurts. The capsules can be found at any health food store or pharmacy here in North America but I am not sure in France. The French word for it is: Acidophil.
    Usually I take one every day for prevention and then three per day with meals when I feel any itchiness. You should also avoid sugar and bread products for a few days until it clears up as sugar and yeast are what “feed” a yeast infection. Also make sure you eat lots of plain yogurt.
    Acidophilus is also much cheaper than the standard treatment. You need to give it a good four or five days to go away, but it should help to prevent future flare ups. I haven’t had one since I started using acidophilus 4 years ago.
    Hope this helps!

  8. Boy did I have a good laugh over this. An ovule for champignons. Good to know. I still get hives every time I need to go to a French pharmacy, even if they are excellent and very knowledgeable, trying to explain symptoms in French is tough

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